Spurs Completely Dominate Heat, One Win Away From 5th NBA Championship
The San Antonio Spurs are one win away from their 5th NBA Championship in franchise history after completely dominating the Miami Heat Thursday night, 107-86.
San Antonio now leads the best-of-seven series 3-1. No team in NBA finals history has won a series after trailing 3-1. (0-31 all-time)
In NBA postseason history, teams have led a best-of-seven series 223 times. Only 8 of those 223 has the team trailing come back to win three straight.
If Miami wants to make history, they’ll have to slow down the basketball juggernaut that is the Spurs. San Antonio put on a basketball clinic in South Beach, led by 3rd year forward Kawhi Leonard.
Leonard led San Antonio in the stat sheet with 20 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks, all while defending the best player on the planet in LeBron James. He may be the best player, but the Spurs are the best team.
James led all scorers with 28, scoring 19 in the third quarter. It didn’t matter. The Spurs outscored the Heat in the 3rd quarter 26-21.
“We knew we lost the quarter in game 3 so we wanted to come out tonight and win the 3rd quarter,” said Leonard.
For the 11th time this postseason, the Spurs won by 15 points or more. All 3 San Antonio victories in the Finals have been by 15 or more. They also broke an impressive Miami streak.
The Heat had not lost back-to-back playoff games since the Eastern Conference finals of 2012. For 49 straight postseason games, Miami never lost following a loss. Not anymore, as the Spurs crushed the Heat for a second straight contest.
“I’m pleased that we performed as well as we have while we’ve been in Miami,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “Now we’ve got to go back home and play as well or better.”
If San Antonio plays any better, they might win by 50. Ball movement, half-court defense, spreading the floor…the list goes on and on. All 13 Spurs in uniform registered points on the stat sheet.
San Antonio looks to close out the series Sunday night at home, something that Miami coach Erik Spoelstra feels like his team can prevent.
“Our focus right now isn’t about 3 games,” said Spoelstra. “All we’re trying to do is get this thing back to Miami. When we’re right mentally, emotionally, and collectively there’s a strong spirit to us. We feel we can win anywhere.”
The Spurs franchise, Tim Duncan (pictured), and Popovich can win their 5th NBA championship with one more win. Leonard is one win away from his first.
“You can’t think about what’s going to happen after that (winning one more game),” explained Leonard. “You’ve got to go out there with the mindset to compete every possession and see what happens from there.”
Tip-off Sunday night from the AT&T Center is set for 7:00.